Monday, December 31, 2012

Herb Infused Oils - We love them!

With the end of our growing season, came a ton of herbs that needed harvested. We dried many of them to make seasoning packets and the rest we used to infuse olive oil.

First, we harvested buckets of fresh herbs from the garden.

Next, we filled bottles with olive oil and added cloves of garlic and different herbs to each bottle. We let them sit for a week, then we had our taste test day.

The kids got to sample the oils with a bread dipping station on the way to recess. They tried tarragon oil, oregano oil and thai basil oil.

Most of the kids' favorite turned out to be oregano. They thought that one won since that was the flavor in many of their favorite foods like pizza and spaghetti.

In any event, we had another fun taste of the farm event where we were able to use local organically grown food to show the kids how delicious gardening can be.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays From The Farm

Our first frost has come and gone and now that the holiday season is upon us, we are all ready for some rest. The beds have been cut back, farm waste has been composted and the planning has begun for our next growing season.

There are many things besides our bountiful harvest to be thankful for during the holidays. We have  families who have taken up gardening in their own yards, a PTA and faculty who support us in our endeavors, a community that continues to give us gifts and their time for our farm and an amazing outdoor learning environment that is growing healthy kids and lifestyles throughout our neighborhood.

A farmer friend bearing healthy gifts is who greeted me this week. Love it!

As we close out our first growing season, we look forward to exciting things coming our way. Our biggest project is kicking off in March with the arrival of our coop and chicks. We are more than egg-cited!
E I E I O and Happy Holidays to you all! See you next year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Getting Ready For The First Freeze -BRR

In Texas there is a saying that says "If you wait long enough, the weather will change." This is especially true in the Winter. The news reporters were warning of a big freeze with a blustery cold front several days in advance. So, our farmers had fair warning to prep for the freeze. Since we have had such a big long growing season and have 21 garden beds to work in, we decided to let nature do it's work and let things freeze. There was a lot of harvesting going on in preparation of the deep freeze.

Our herbs were cut back and hung on a dowel to dry. Not only does it make a great fragrance in our classroom, it also will be used to make herb packets to give to our teachers and friends of the farm.

Our farm friends picked a ton of peppers and all the other tender veggies that don't tolerate frost.

The kids watered real well so that the plants that could handle a freeze would be sturdy enough to fight off the frost.We also backed the water out of our rain harvesting system and plugged in the pump so that we wouldn't have any damage from the freeze.

 Our pumpkin drop off bins were filled to the brim, so we had to prepare them for our compost.

We needed to get our big pumpkins into smaller pieces that would be easier to compost. Smashing the pumpkins was too much fun!

After adding the smashed pumpkins, we poured in  dead leaves for our nitrogen layer.

Farming keeps you in tune with the environment. It teaches you to plan, take care of crops and the cycle of seed to table to frost. The freeze on our farm was another great learning experience for our young farmers. We look forward to caring for our cool weather plants and tending to the beds to prep for our Spring planting which will be right around the corner. As always, there is never a dull moment at Moss Haven Farm.

We work hard but always have time for fun! My new puppy, Lady, joined Farm Team this week. The kids wore her out!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dirt and Leaves = Great Big Fun

A dump truck full of dirt came to our school so that we could load up a new planting area with nice soil to help grow great crops. Needless to say, our farmers have been more than busy!

Every afternoon, our farmers get their assignments from me. It always amazes me as to how eager they all are to dig in and do whatever needs to be done.

We do stop and take time to jump in leaf piles though! Fun is always on the agenda!


This group of farmers came before school each day  for a week to rake and gather leaves for our compost.

Our list never ends.., once the dirt is moved we are on to planting our winter wheat. We can't wait to start that project. More to come.., e i e i o.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cooking Lessons For Healthy Farmers

Cooking is one of those favored activities that kids really want to do. It may be a favorite because of the yummy reward in the end. It is really fun to cook with kids. They learn so much from working through the process of planning, reading the recipe, following the steps, measuring out the ingredients and cooking it just right. Many things can go wrong, but that is how we learn. Having a farm at our school has given us access to healthy organic food that is easily harvested by our students. Prepping for a cooking activity for 25 kids takes some time, but the outcome and the culmination of many skills that the kids acquire is a great payoff for all involved. 

We love farm fresh cookin'!